Monthly Archives: April 2010

LITTLE STORIES ABOUT SCENT

Ever since I can remember I have perceived my world largely through the sense of smell. I smell everything! As a little child I could find my way home, eyes closed, just by smelling. My siblings teased me and said I was a dog.  Sometimes I thought that if I would go blind, I could probably make it in the world anyway, just by smelling. I lived my first 7 years in Japan, then moved to Sweden. These countries smell very different, and the first months in Sweden I was busy sorting the scents… Over time and travels I have found that every country has its own scent, even cities. The metro in Paris has a smell like no other metro in the world, though the London underground has a touch of it. (This memory is from a trip to Paris when I was 11).

When I was 9 yrs old I was sent on holidays to friends of the family who lived in a huge mansion by the sea. Behind the mansion there was this beautiful rose-garden where I spent most of my time reading. One day I collected as much roses as I could carry and brought them to my room where there was a wash-stand. There I immersed the rose-petals in warm water to make rose-water, nobody had ever told me how to do this, I just wanted to keep the scent. I knew then, that I would one day work with scents and plants. (I forgot all about that “wish” for almost 20 yrs and when it resurfaced – while smelling an essential oil – I found my present career.)

At 18, I visited with friends in New York. They took me to China Town where I was hit by such an enormous wave of memories and emotions from my (by now half-forgotten) early childhood in Japan. I was in pieces, seldom have I experienced anything so strong.

One day when I went shopping with my little son, aged 8, we went to the cash-machine to get money. While I am putting away the money, my son  asks me: “Mami, first you smelled your card before you put it in the machine, and then you smelled it when it came out. What do you think the machine did to your card?” I don’t notice that I smell things, I just do it. There is no such thing as a bad smell, it’s all information. A “bad smell” usually means something is rotten, ill or poisonous – very important information. The oil of hops (humulus lupulus) is the oddest-smelling essential oil I have ever come across, its scent is on one hand beautifully  floral and sweet and behind that scent it smells like natural gas. Black pepper (piper nigrum) smells like peppercorns, but behind that there is this ethereal floral scent. Our senses give us the emotional experience of living, but I think that scent is the most subtle of them all. So start paying attention to what you smell and feel – it will take you on a most astonishing journey…Enjoy!

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ALLOPATHIC + ALTERNATIVE = COMPLEMENTARY

In the 11th century doctors in Europe were widely called “leeches” or “barber-surgeons” and their trade consisted mainly of cupping and blood-letting – the universal cure-all. They used herbs, vinegars and wine in treatment, but very little was known about the human body, disease and hygiene. At the time the witch-hunt was on full force and many doctors were afraid to be accused of witch-craft, making them even more restricted in their medicinal practice. The “wise” women and men, who had a deeper knowledge of plants and healing were all too often burned at the stake or drowned for witch-craft, seriously depleting this empirical knowledge. What was left of it moved into the cloisters.

At the same time there existed a school for physicians in Persia where young men were taught religion, physics, medicine, law and philosophy. The great man Avicenna (Abu Ali at-Husain ibn Abdullah ibn Sina) was the leading expert and guru of the time. He developed a medical system that combined his own personal experience with the medical system of the Greek physician Galen (AD 129 – 199/217). The Greeks had done autopsies on human bodies, giving them invaluable knowledge of how the human body works. Due to religion, this practice was forbidden in European and Islamic cultures during the 11th century, and pigs were used as substitutes to learn about the human body.

Via different routes, not least via cloisters and traveling Jews, was spread the ideas of hygiene, nutrition, emotional and vibrational healing. Different schools of thought were born using “humors” and signature medicine. There was a deep understanding of the body as a whole; body/mind/soul, and that without considering all facets of a being, healing could not be successfully achieved.

Fast-forward to ad 2000: Medicine has advanced and developed with the speed of lightening; un-believable medical feats are being performed and there is an extensive knowledge of how the body works. At the same time it is as though the body has been separated from the soul. Many chronically ill people complain of the inhuman treatment of them, they become a machine, something interesting to study.

Medicine is more than just body, for deep and true healing to take place the soul needs to be healed as well. I think it is time to re-instate complementary therapy into the equation. I, as a therapist, do not set broken bones or operate on tumors. But I massage, see and listen to the person behind the disease, I help their souls to heal – or sometimes die – if that is the case. Medical doctors usually don’t have this knowledge, and instead of (in some cases) scoffing it, they should seek to work with it. I have worked with medical doctors who are amazed at the healing powers a person has when they are treated complementary as well. We are both aware of the fact that our “medicines” are entirely different – and that is a good thing.

At last; If it was only about repairing the body; why are people so ill? Why are the surgeries and chemo and radiation and transplants not enough? Why do some people heal and others not? Complementary therapy is not subsidized, making it un-available for many people which is unfair. In UK complementary therapies are offered at hospitals and hospices as part of the program, maybe it is time for other countries to follow suite.

If alternative/complementary therapies got acceptance from society, there would be stricter rules about education and training, making it easy for people to find a true therapist, because Yes, there are a lot of “fakes” around – giving the profession a bad rep.

And people, you are paying for your medical care through taxes, you have a say in what you need: If you want it, demand it.

HOURLY STRESS-RELIEF

Plenty of people come to me for help with stress, expecting that a session or a workshop will make it all go away, which, of course, it doesn’t. Looking around I am not entirely surprised over this naivete, stress is on everybody’s lips and the definition of what stress actually is has been lost along the way. No matter where the stress comes from or what the stressors are, stress is always personal. Each and every person that comes to me with problems of stress are different; personalities, results of stress, what the stressors are etc. (An informational tid-bit: The word stressor (stress + or) was “created in 1955)

As I have said before, negative reactions to stress is a lifestyle problem. Knowledge and understanding is needed to isolate and understand the problem, and very often some important life-style changes are needed to heal. But this is individual so I won’t go into it here. If you have serious problems you should find a therapist or a coach to help you. For daily measures following advice makes a big difference; if you do this every hour it will take 5 minutes of your time and increase your effectiveness and well-being: But you need to remember to do it, nobody will do this for you…

  • Smile, even if it is fake. The mere muscular movement of pulling your mouth into a smile sends signals to the limbic system in the brain to secrete more “feel-good-hormones” and boosts your immune-system: Dr. Lee Berk and Dr. Stanley Tan at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine found that laughing also “lowers serum cortisol levels, increases the amount of activated T lymphocytes, increases the number and activity of natural immune system killer cells, and increases the number of T cells that have helper / suppresser receptors.”
  • Stretch; stand up and stretch your whole body, really feel how circulation increases in your muscles – like bubbly water, making them warm and free. Do this every hour and you will experience much less tension and aches.
  • Check your posture; how do you carry yourself? If you straighten up your body automatically sends signals to the brain, making you feel strong and positive. How to do it: Stand up with your knees slightly bent, arms by your side. Lift your chin and do forward shoulder-rolls, 3 times (really lift your shoulders up and around and release them to feel your arms growing longer), and then do backward shoulder-rolls 3 times. Now your chin should be lifted, your back straight, your arms are longer and your shoulders lowers. Your chest should be open and lifted. Do this exercise every hour and each time you think about it. You will find that it makes a huge difference to your energy-levels. Constantly check your posture in mirrors and shop-windows, correcting as needed.
  • Drink water: One 25cl glass each hour keeps you hydrated. You will have better energy, improved mood and no head-aches or heavy feeling. It helps flush out toxins in your body-system, keeping you healthy and balanced. Every cell in your body needs fresh water to function well. With every soda, coffee or alcohol intake, drink extra water to balance the dehydrating effects, and help the body to handle the toxins.
  • Breath; 3 deep breaths deep down in your stomach. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Keep it nice and slow, really filling up with fresh air and breathing out all staleness, exhaustion, irritation from your system. Do this every hour, every cell in your body needs oxygen, stress and sitting still deprives you of oxygen.
  • Thoughts; Pay attention to your thought-patterns. Every time you notice negative patterns, change them to the positive. Think of beautiful places, somebody you love, something that makes you happy.
  • Re-connect with yourself; Every hour take stock of how you feel; both physically and emotionally, and give your body what it needs; water, relaxation, movement, nutrition.
  • Cut out sugar; this is a tough one, I know, but sugars (especially fake sugars) are pure toxins to the body. It wreaks havoc with your hormone-systeme, digestion, mood… Eat fruit and nuts (unsalted, non-sweetened, non-roasted) if you need a quick fix. Your body and mind will thank you for this.
  • Stimulants; coffee, tea, alcohol, cigarettes; try to keep it to a minimum. Go for green tea or herbal teas (mint-tea is great for added energy) Check out all the natural teas in the health food store.

Once you start listening to your body and give it these hourly relief-moments you will also learn what you need. The greatest stressor is not paying attention to inner needs. Nutrition, sleep/relaxation and exercise are the 3 most important ingredients to staying healthy and combating stress. Learn about nutrition and proper eating because everything you put in your body will be used as fuel, so what you eat and drink really matters greatly to your health. Your body and mind are totally connected; all what you think/feel will be lodged in your body, and whatever is going on in your body will affect what you think/feel. Here is a small example; when you feel fear, you round your back, pull up your shoulders and cross your arms in front of you…feelings influence how you use your body.

Remember: All what you do or don’t do to yourself today will influence the quality of the rest of your life.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPY

This is such a huge area to get into. Suffice to say that over the last 15 years alternative / complementary therapy has grown to world-wide acceptance as an aid or means to healing people. Combined with the very impersonal allopathic health-care it can work wonders for many people. It is not about “either or”, it is about “and”. Alongside with aggressive methods to combat disease alternative / complementary therapies can heal a person on many levels. Changing body-parts or aggressively attacking a tumor or virus is not a guarantee for survival or healing. We are so much more than only our bodies; as I have said before – we are intrinsically interconnected body and mind. Healing is needed on all levels.

Please watch what some people have to say in this movie from Urban Zen Foundation

GOAL-SETTING

Lately I have been wrapping my head around the whole idea of goal-setting, really trying to break it down into the smallest possible components. Goals are like onions; layer upon layer, each layer hiding the one beneath…no wonder it can be so difficult to set goals.

I think most of us are the same; when asked what is the biggest wish/dream/goal our brains go into a chaos of random pictures, ideas, needs and wants. From this random chaos it is really very difficult to figure out what is the main goal; money? health? a baby? a job? a house? freedom? travel?

Simplify:

  • Goals don’t need to be realistic – go limitless – who said it wasn’t possible? Don’t ever limit yourself!
  • Goals need to be clear, no matter how limitless they are.
  • You need to be passionate about your goal. You need to want it.

Most often we set our goals after needs; they are usually passion-less and will take us to the absolutely most basic point of filling the need, but there is no abundance. Instead of setting goals after our needs, we should set goals after our wants, and the result will automatically take care of the need. Let me give you an example: Say you need more money to meet rising costs of living; Instead of setting the goal of “money enough to cover costs”, set the goal where you are affluent enough to live in abundance, and  your needs are automatically met. Allow yourself to dream.


The next step to realizing goals are to take them out of your brain and into the world: write them down, paint them; make a wish-list, story-board, dream-movie. Think about your goal(s) constantly. Make them so real in your mind that you can actually touch and taste them. Think of them in present tense and exclude all negations. Read your goals every day as often as possible. Do one thing each day to make your goal reality. Each goal can be broken down into little parts – like a journey starts with one step and continues with each following step – so does your goal. Take a step on your goal-journey every day.

VISUALISATION + VERBALISATION = MANIFESTATION

Essential oils that might help to open and ground your visionary self:

  • Frankincense (boswellia carterii) spriritual
  • Cedarwood (cedrus atlantica) spiritual / earthbound
  • Sandalwood (santalum album) spiritual
  • Myrrh (commiphora myrrah/c. molmol) spiritual / healing
  • Hyssop (hyssopus officinalis) vision /creation
  • Rose (rosa centifolia) heart
  • Angelica (angelica archangelica)  vision
  • Pine (pinus sylvestris) vision
  • Cypress (cupressus sempervirens) transformation
  • Palmarosa (cymbopogon martinii) subliminal

THE COACH

Compact Oxford English dictionary says:

Coach: noun 1 an instructor or trainer in sport. 2 a tutor who gives private or specialized teaching. • verb train or teach as a coach.

”A coach just has a different perspective. The coach can see what you can’t see because you’re in the forest and they’re outside of it.
To me, a coach is not better, they’re a friend, they’re an equal, they’re there for you, they’re somebody who cares deeply about your well-being but they’re also incredibly skilled to help guide you at the moment you really need it
.”
-Tony Robbins

The key-word here being guide.

I always considered myself being a therapist; helping people when they needed it. I was always good at understanding what’s going on in people, so it is quite natural for me to work professionally with this. Now more and more people call me a coach, which I never do. So I decided to look into this whole coach-thing and see why I am suddenly a coach…

First of all I realized that the word therapist is connected to imbalance & need, and many people don’t feel comfortable with this. Coach, on the other hand, implies strength & choice. To me they are only words, but words are important; I call people who come to me clients – they come by their own choice because they want to change or balance something in their lives. To me they are never patients – which to me sound like a passive acceptance of something out of control.

So back to coaching: As a therapist/coach I back people up and I guide them to find their ultimate path in life and the strengths they have. I also guide them in understanding and finding acceptance of sad or negative actions/re-actions.  I believe everybody can change and re-create his/her  life if and when needed. I care deeply about the person in front of me and I am non-judgmental. Of all the things I learned during my years of listening and inter-acting with others, the most difficult was being non-judgmental; liberating myself from my own values, ideas and programmings. A session of “coaching” is always about the person asking (the client). The coach/therapist is a tool for personal development – be it sport, health, studies or anything else.

I am also a coach as in teacher: I train health professionals in different specialized areas such as essential oils, motivation etc. I also give work-shops to people who want to know different stuff.

Besides which; a coach is a carriage, which I find a bit funny. Don’t really know how the words connect, but maybe the coaches around the world carry the people to results…?